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Over 150 STEM Resources for PBL and Authentic Learning, Part 3: Engineering

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Engineering STEM Resources

Since there are a gold mine of resources below I will keep my comments short. While STEM incorporates so many disciplines, I thought you might enjoy looking at some the best sites I could find in the area of Engineering. As you look through 42 possibilities, be sure to take some notes. It really is OK to get lost in one or two and leave the rest for later.  Please take a moment to share this post with fellow educators with a tweet. Enjoy your journey and please let me know others I should add. 

Design Squad Nation – Another great service from PBS filled with some entertaining and engaging ways to integrate STEM into any classroom. Teachers can explore and use Design Squad Nation activities, animations, video profiles, and episodes in classrooms and after-school programs, in libraries and museums, at events and at home.

Engineer Your Life – This engaging website is the centerpiece of a national campaign, and is meant for high school girls and the adults in their lives (parents, counselors, teachers, and other educators) who want to learn more about what life and work are like for engineers. It is a great place to explore outstanding engineering possibilities.

Teach Engineering – This is a comprehensive collaborative project between faculty, students, and teachers associated with five founding partner universities, with NSF National Science Foundation funding. This real world collection continues to grow and evolve with new additions submitted from more than 50 additional contributors, a cadre of volunteer teacher and engineer reviewers, and feedback from teachers who use the curricula in their classrooms.

Discover Engineering  – This organization coalition of volunteer engineer professionals works together to celebrate engineering and give students hands-on experiences with engineering.

eGFI Dream Up The Future – Be ready to discover a variety of tools to boost your students’ math and science skills, enliven the classroom with engineering projects, expand your own professional horizons and stay informed. There is also an amazing free newsletter with updated features that will arrive in your in-box every month. This is a site that is a must visit for any STEM teacher.

EIE – Engineering is Elementary supports educators and children with curricula and professional development that develop engineering literacy. EiE serves children and educators in grades K- 8 with research-based, teacher-tested curriculum materials for schools and out-of-school time programs. The program also helps teachers build skills and confidence in teaching engineering and technology in their professional development workshops.

The Lemlinson Center -Take a moment to visit this amazing website that showcases the study of invention and innovation. It is part of the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, the center documents, interprets, and disseminates information about invention and innovation; encourages inventive creativity in young people; and fosters an appreciation for the central role that invention and innovation play in the history of the United States.

Cooper Hewitt Lesson Plans –  Take a look at the design possibilities covering all subject areas and grade levels. There will surely be something to promote design thinking!

Try Engineering – Here a place to visit for the latest information, resources, and research. It will provide numerous ideas to bring engineering to the classroom.

The Engineering Place – This might be the right place to get the idea you need. There are wonderful lesson plans for K-8 students.

Spark!Lab – Discover the Spark!Lab Process for design which includes, Identify a problem or need (Think It), Conduct Research (Explore It), Make sketches (Sketch It) Build prototypes (Create It),  Test the invention (Try It), Refine the invention (Tweak It), Market the invention (Sell It). You will want to explore the links to these these resources and the amazing Spark Lab Free Design Book.

Tinker Ball – This is a great simulation that allows students to see there are multiple iterations and possibilities when designing.

Curiosity Machine – Explore this wonderful program that puts an emphasis on artificial intelligence and engineering.

UL Explore Labs – Solve real problems through science and engineering and become part of the movement to make the world a safer place.

STEM Career – Find your STEM type. Explore different careers and see where you might fit. Your students may find that they are an engineer!

Sketch Up Free – One of the easiest ways to draw in 3D. Say hello to SketchUp Free: 3D modeling in a web browser

AutoDesk TynkerCad – It is a free, easy-to-use app for 3D design, electronics, and coding. It’s used by teachers, kids, hobbyists, and designers to imagine, design, and make anything!

Physics Games – Check out these great Physics games that are all about constructing something.

Energy in a Roller Coaster Ride – This interactive roller coaster ride produced by WGBH illustrates the relationship between potential and kinetic energy. As the coaster cars go up and down the hills and around the loop of the track, a pie chart shows how the relative transformation back and forth between gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy.

CK12 Roller Coaster – This is a wonderful example of the many simulations that teachers can work with student on at CK12.

Engineering For Good –  This is a three-week, project-based learning unit for middle school science classrooms focused on developing solutions for negative impacts of plastics on the environment. In this NGSS-aligned unit, students use the engineering design process to define a problem, brainstorm solutions, develop prototypes and iterate on their designs. The project culminates with students producing videos about their solutions to share with the community.

ITE Resources – The activities and presentations in this site are specific to introducing K-12 kids to what ITE does – transportation!

Bridge Designer – One of my favorites which had been known as the West Point Bridge Design Program. It teachers physics as students create and test their simulated bridge.

Link Engineering – This is a site that connects PK12 engineering to experts and resources for teachers and students.

Go Explore – A wonder website on transportation engineering from the people at Iowa State.

OK GO Sandbox – Helping students learn through the joy, wonder, and fun of OK Go’s music videos. You will find some real engaging possibilities!

Super Bowl Engineering – A great collection of activities, lessons, and videos to help students see the engineering in football.

Engineering Americas’ Favorite Past Time – If you liked the above link for football then check out this baseball site.

Engineering Education Pod Casts – These are a series of educational podcast to help students understand engineering in the real world.

Engineering Video Snippets – Discover this collection of Illuminating short videos that take you inside the elementary engineering classroom.

Engineering Map of America – In this interactive map from American Experience, learn about the most challenging and important engineering projects that transformed America. Each project is described with a variety of supporting materials, including archival images and documents as well as videos excerpted from American Experience episodes.

NASA: More To Explore – Check out the links at this website to find games to play, videos to watch, things to make and stories to read for students in grades K-4.
Big DIY Ideas – Here are 35 fun DIY engineering projects just for kids that you and your students will enjoy. Notice that some are perfect for tiny tots and other projects are terrific for older kids and teens. Use your best judgement and provide adult supervision and guidance when needed.

Engineering Projects for Grades 7-9 from NASA – These are all some neat projects from the NASA Summer Innovation Program. There is a lot to pick from.
Design Squad Activity Guide – Check out this PDF document that includes the design process along with some great build possibilities. This comes to you from Intel and PBS.
Dyson Foundation Challenge Cards –  Are you ready for a challenge. Check out these easy to support ideas for students who want to build it better!

NBC Learn Science of Innovation – You will enjoy this great collection of videos that can fit into a lesson based on all types of design and technology principals.

US Patent Office For Kids – At the USPTO, they are always thinking of ways to promote innovation. Here are a few fun activities for makers, builder, tinkerers and all to enjoy. Check back for new activities from time to time.

NASA Robotics Alliance Project – The Robotics Alliance Project seeks to provide a clearinghouse of robotics-related educational materials. Click on the links provided and below to find lessons, materials, and robotics education discussion forums.

PBS Learning Media Engineering and Technology – Discover resources and projects that connect students to engineering design practices and future careers.

Atkins STEM School Pack for Engineering – Discover this wonderful PDF booklet filled with great build possibilities for student to explore

Ted-Ed Engineering – Build a lesson around any TED-Ed Animation, TED Talk or YouTube video 

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Michael Gorman oversees one-to-one laptop programs and digital professional development for Southwest Allen County Schools near Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is a consultant for Discovery Education, ISTE, My Big Campus, and November Learning and is on the National Faculty for The Buck Institute for Education. His awards include district Teacher of the Year, Indiana STEM Educator of the Year and Microsoft’s 365 Global Education Hero. Read more